Join us today for Part 1 of the Interview with YouTuber, Podcaster, and Speaker,

Sebastian Schug...

This is Part 1 of the interview I had with YouTuber, Podcaster, and speaker Sebastian Schug.  

In today’s interview with Sebastian Schug, I ask Sebastian about his journey from comedy and YouTube to running a publishing company.  I also ask Sebastian about how his change in business made him feel about his calling.  Sebastian also shares with you how his faith journey intersected with these changes.

Join in on the Chat below.

Episode 1136: Invest in Yourself - Interview with YouTuber, Podcaster, and speaker Sebastian Schug – Part 1

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining us on episode 1,136 of the inspired stewardship podcast.

[00:00:07] Sebastian Schug: I do challenge you to invest in yourself. Yeah. I didn't challenge you to invest others in the future, even though that it is uncertain and the past may sometimes be Rocky, but in doing so, I'm hoping that it can develop an influence.

[00:00:24] I'm hoping that it can impact the world utilizing your time your time. And treasures to live out your calling, whatever they may be. It may not even be in the same creative avenue that I explained, but I'm hoping that it can be general enough to help you come to that conclusion. Having the ability to adapt with faith as your journey progresses is of course, key understanding that root of why you choose to do it in the first.

[00:00:52] And employing this show one way to be inspired is to listen to inspired [00:01:00] stewardship.

[00:01:00] I guess, as a TLDR, like your early work feedback and understand the tips and tricks and the scheduling or the scenarios that put you into a position for growth don't ever stop growing, don't ever stop wondering what you can do to change or vary your content.

[00:01:23] Scott Maderer: Welcome and thank you for joining us on the inspired stewardship podcast.

[00:01:28] If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent and your treasures for your true calling in the inspired stewardship podcast. We'll learn to invest in. Invest in others and develop your influence so that you can impact the world

[00:01:49] and today's interview with Sebastian Shugg. I asked Sebastian about his journey from comedy and YouTube to running a publishing company. I also asked Sebastian about how he has changing. [00:02:00] Made him feel about his calling and Sebastian also shares with you how his faith journey intersected with all of these changes.

[00:02:07] One reason I like to bring you great interviews. Like the one you're going to hear today is because of the power in learning from others. Another great way to learn from others is through reading books. But if you're like most people today, you find it hard to find the time to sit down and read. And that's why today's podcast is brought to you by audible.

[00:02:29] Go to inspired stewardship.com/audible to sign up and you can get a 30 day free trial. There's over 180,000 titles to choose from. And instead of reading, you can listen your way to learn from some of the greatest minds out there. That's inspired stewardship.com/audible to get your free trial and listen to great books the same way you're listening to this podcast.

[00:02:56] Sebastian Robert Shaw is an independent multimedia [00:03:00] artists currently residing in suburban Burbank, California. He holds a bachelor of arts and communication studies and political science, and currently spends his time narrating miscellaneous stories. He started out as a YouTuber back in 2013, and he has worked in podcasting Umer and public speaking.

[00:03:19] Welcome to the show Sabbat.

[00:03:21] Sebastian Schug: Thank you so much for having me.

[00:03:23] Scott Maderer: Absolutely. We talked a little bit about it in the intro, but could you talk to us a little bit more about your journey from publishing yourself beginning to write as a young person and then growing a publishing company and now doing a restart and reset where you are today.

[00:03:43] Sebastian Schug: Yes. So initially I did not even begin as a publisher. I was 14 years old when I was given the chance to be hired on as a children's book illustrator. So that's where my journey began with my children's series called the adventures of day. [00:04:00] Now this series was in, in the most succinct way possible, because I've told this story so many times it initially began as one book and after the whole working out the bugs, making it look how both myself and the original author wanted it to turn into a short series of five.

[00:04:23] And in that series over the span of five years turned into a. I guess entourage, or I don't even know what the proper terminology is, but essentially five grew into 30 and throughout those five years, that was what I really started to begin writing the, in publishing other content that wasn't strictly kids related and going into satire or fiction.

[00:04:49] That was where I branched. And that was really where I established my independent publishing company or sole proprietorship is I've now started calling it is that's the [00:05:00] correct terminology because it was only a one man gig. And I had, I wouldn't, it was. Established clientele, I would say authors would send their manuscripts.

[00:05:13] They would need a cover done. I would offer either ghost writing or editing services. And it was just this neat little, a group of people I should say. However, all things must come to an end. And as we look at the world around us, we see that we are in fact, in a global pandemic currently, still.

[00:05:35] And suffice to say that really hits small businesses, relatively hard, myself included. I had to dissolve the independent publishing company. And essentially when you attach so much of your identity to a business, you end up finding yourself lost. And in my case, I did as well, the restarting, however it took a lot of time, [00:06:00] but eventually I landed myself a.

[00:06:02] I landed myself in a position rather where I could utilize the bees these strengths and these skills that I'd picked up over the past seven years of operating this company and essentially do other things with it. And that's just my, I would say arc or retention story where essentially a business doesn't make the man it's more or less what you can offer the world.

[00:06:29] And that's just where I've been currently. I ironically it comes full circle. I still do illustration. I still do. My other skills that I picked up were narration audio book production. And that is where I am currently. It's been one heck of a ride and not. I'm just thankful to not be in that head space that I was over a year ago, actually.

[00:06:53] Scott Maderer: So a a couple of followup questions on that for one is where does YouTube fit into that? [00:07:00] That, that mess cause you mentioned YouTube and YouTube publishing too, is something that you started back in 2013. So how does that fit into that?

[00:07:09] Sebastian Schug: YouTube was an outlet that I had considered again, back in 2013.

[00:07:14] And. It didn't do much for me back then, because the channel had no general direction. I guess the background story of that would be a, I was a freshman in high school. When I first began this YouTube channel. It was a co-op channel that I had with a good friend of mine, way back when, and again, no general direction.

[00:07:35] It had miscellaneous videos that we would have on there. And it wasn't until I actually got to college that I realized that it can be. Utilize to build an audience more. So unfortunately with college, I ended up getting a little bit too busy for that. So I ended up abandoning it once again, up until I.

[00:07:56] Lost the sole [00:08:00] proprietorship, the publishing company. And that was only because, and the reason how I got back into YouTube is I think when individuals are particularly desperate for an outlet, they'll really try anything. And no, really. I truthfully, I don't know where I would be if I didn't have YouTube and by extension the audience that I've grown on there because they have.

[00:08:25] One of the biggest support systems I've ever come to know that was when I started taking you to much more seriously. That was when I started to experiment more and more with the types, with the type of content I was producing and slowly but surely a grew the audience B got effectively monetized on YouTube.

[00:08:44] And yeah, I know how it falls in was the fact that I. Throughout my years publishing, I had spent a good majority of my time publishing audio books. And essentially my channel is just that where it's narrating certain [00:09:00] stories on the internet for people to watch. It's just not done in the typical publishing format where you buy a book in essence and on YouTube,

[00:09:12] Scott Maderer: it's

[00:09:13] Sebastian Schug: on YouTube.

[00:09:13] There you go. Yeah. And they're short stories. They're either they're fan submissions or they're stories that have been circulating on the internet for a while. I guess I don't have to worry about copyright technically I

[00:09:25] Scott Maderer: technically it could still be copyrighted. It's just a whole lot of people they'd have to go after.

[00:09:29] There's

[00:09:29] Sebastian Schug: a whole lot of people that have to go after and it's readily available online. Yeah. They have not ever protected their copyright. And therefore a judge would probably say, no, you no longer have copyright because pretty

[00:09:41] much it's

[00:09:42] Scott Maderer: the Kleenex or Xerox problem. We call it.

[00:09:45] Yeah, we call all photocopier Xerox. Why? Because Xerox didn't protect their trademark and copyright. And so the names Xerox came to me and photocopier and they thought that was a good thing. And of course now Xerox is

[00:09:58] Sebastian Schug: pretty much,

[00:09:59] Scott Maderer: but [00:10:00] anyway, sorry, a little digression

[00:10:01] Sebastian Schug: for yeah, no, no worries. It's just become, I now I can effectively. I would say a career because technically it is a position where I make a good amount of money per month. Ironically, I've made more on this. I always like to say, ironically, I've made more in this past 11 to 12 months of YouTube than I have in the entirety of the seven years of publishing, but that's fine.

[00:10:27] Yeah. Yeah. Which was shocking to me once I crunched the numbers, but. But yeah, no, I'd call it a career because it is something that I enjoy doing, even though it is on a relatively small basis or small scale, I should say. And yeah I hope to grow it more and it's just something that I enjoy.

[00:10:49] I both enjoy. And I am so appreciative at the feedback that I've received. It really has pulled me out. Where I was, and [00:11:00] I, again, I can't thank people enough for that.

[00:11:03] Scott Maderer: Yeah. The community that. More than YouTube, but it's the community you had built using YouTube help pull you out? Is that what I'm hearing

[00:11:11] Sebastian Schug: correctly?

[00:11:12] Kind of said it better myself.

[00:11:14] Scott Maderer: Let's talk a little bit about that. You mentioned it yourself when you have a business, especially a sole proprietorship, especially something that you poured a lot into and then it loses it, you, you have to dissolve it or you have to pivot or whatever it affects you.

[00:11:31] Sebastian Schug: Yeah. Without

[00:11:33] Scott Maderer: How do you think how do you think your faith journey? How do you think you know who you are? How did all of this affect. Your ability to actually go through that. And how did those things intersect for lack of a better I'm fumbling around the question, but you get

[00:11:51] Sebastian Schug: where I'm going.

[00:11:52] I don't know. I do. And I guess to answer your question, I never really initially considered myself an incredibly faithful person. I was [00:12:00] always, I always took the more pragmatic approach rather than the spiritual approach, because I just felt like it solved many of my problems. And that was in essence.

[00:12:10] Attempted to do with my life. I saw a problem. I attempted to solve it quickly and find out what the best way of doing it. So it was once everything had fallen to pieces and I was left with the, I was left with the shadow of an entity of what once was to put it in a perspective. No. I think a lot of individuals, there's no telling what individuals will do when they're particularly desperate.

[00:12:39] And I had practice my faith before and it definitely heightened once I realized back then initially that I had no sense of direction prior to, to re rediscovered in YouTube in a sense. And I think it allowed me to. [00:13:00] Not only sit down with myself, but also internalize what I enjoy doing with my life.

[00:13:06] Having that reflection was never something that I initially had. I'm saying initially a lot, because at the time of conducting business, it was a matter of just go. It was put the pedal to the metal. Any idea is a good idea. You here. I am seven years later and I know that's not the case, but every idea is worth trying was my sort of two-pronged approach to that.

[00:13:33] But sitting down with myself, Having faith on my side and really sitting down was a way for me to internalize it, to process it and to understand that it's probably time to look at things from a different perspective to understand that maybe I don't have to be the one in control all the time, because that obviously puts a heavy burden on my shoulders.

[00:13:59] And [00:14:00] it's something that I didn't want that needed stress alongside of losing this. Okay. So it was something that if I could just delegate that to someone else or something else and handle it as it comes, that was something that I was more so looking towards and this mindset of mine I would have never imagined to have, because again, back then it was something that there was a problem.

[00:14:28] I had to be the one that. No, quite no question about it, because back then I figured that if I was the one to solve it in the future, I would, I felt like I was preparing myself. I guess you could say I was terrified of what I didn't know. And I was extremely terrified late last year around this general time actually, where I didn't know where things were going to end up and I was very I was terrified.

[00:14:54] To put it bluntly. No I guess to answer your question, [00:15:00] rediscovering these interests that I had with a combination of my faith, it was something that I'm glad it was there because if it wasn't there, I don't know where I'd be currently. So that's really the best way I could put it.

[00:15:14] Scott Maderer: I think the other piece of it, and a lot of folks go through this where you had discovered something that you were doing, and I'm not saying you didn't enjoy it. I'm not saying you didn't love it. It was something that you felt was aligned with your giftings and what you could do, a calling, whatever you want to give it.

[00:15:34] And yet now you've you're pivoted and you're doing something else as well. What do you think happened? Did your calling changed? Did your, what your direction changed? Did you not have a calling before? And now you do? How would you say that this journey aligns with the, that idea of discovering who you are and what you're supposed to be doing?

[00:15:55] So to

[00:15:56] Sebastian Schug: speak? I think at the beginning I had this very, I would [00:16:00] consider standoffish approach where I felt as if publishing is my box. I'm in. My box don't disturb me kinda thing. And it didn't so much, no that's a lie. It did push people away. And I present myself for that every day, because it's not who I once was prior to the publishing entity.

[00:16:25] And it's not who I am now that it's completely dissolved. There's a lot of. Instances in my life for the past seven years that I understandably now I know that I regret because it's just, I'm ashamed of the person that I was because it's just seeing myself now and seeing the change and not putting such a heavy burden on my shoulders.

[00:16:48] I didn't know that publishing was doing that much to me mentally, and you never want to think that something that you love doing can be hurting you. I would attest it [00:17:00] much similar to an addiction like gambling or sex, drugs, or alcohol, where it's you think that it's it feels good in the moment and you can ride this high forever, essentially.

[00:17:14] No, God forbid, what if it comes crashing down. And thankfully for me, again, ironically, it was the crashing down and re-establishing of my, or my core beliefs and my other interests that made up this entity that would pull me out of this. It would have to be the breaking down of this publishing entity into the subsections what is publishing other than.

[00:17:40] Illustrating narrating editing, putting things together. It was those subsections, not the one entity that would eventually pull me out of this, realizing that, oh, I could have these interests on their own and it doesn't have to fall under this umbrella. I think it also assisted with my ego a little bit it's [00:18:00] very easy to get carried away with being the only quote unquote publisher on campus, because.

[00:18:06] From sophomore year up until senior year of high school, even going into college. That's essentially who I was. And did it get to me a little bit? I would say, even though I wasn't so much primarily concerned with money, but it was something that I did hold my head high and pretty well not preach about, but people knew me on campus for that.

[00:18:31] Whether or not my reputation was viewed as favorable or not in the eyes of others. I can't say for certain, I can only hope that it wasn't too off putting, I hope that answers your question, but I'm hoping that provides a general understanding of where I was versus where I am.

[00:18:50] Scott Maderer: Yeah, it does. And I think something you said, and I want to circle back to it.

[00:18:56] It was you, it sounds like you [00:19:00] had identified yourself with the entity as opposed to the skills or abilities or interests that kind of made up that entity. And it was a rediscovering of wait a minute. It's not tied to my career or my title or. Business it's me is that am I hearing that right?

[00:19:26] Or did I miss understand? No, that's

[00:19:28] Sebastian Schug: exactly right. And I think with publishing, it was very easy for me to get sidetracked into this belief that I was quote this title, as opposed to what made up the title in the first place. Whether it be writing or illustrating, for example, two subjects that I enjoy to do, even without publishing, even without making money.

[00:19:53] I saw everything essentially as a business opportunity, which can be a real double edged [00:20:00] sword for them, for opportunists I was under the impression that essentially to have fun would be to waste. Even if it was in the field of illustration or writing, for example, or narrating, because back then I wasn't monetized on YouTube.

[00:20:18] I was not getting ad revenue for for my YouTube narrations and to put it in perspective you have to reach a certain threshold in order to be eligible. You have to have a certain amount of watch hours. You have to have a certain amount of subscribers. And I was trickling out content back then.

[00:20:36] Hovering around the 400 mark. So it wasn't doing anything for me. And therefore I saw it as a waste of time, even though I genuinely enjoy doing it. No, I would rather focus on publishing traditional media, like digital books, physical books, because that's where I thought the money maker was.

[00:20:56] It's not.

[00:20:58] Yeah, [00:21:00] it's I shed a tear. When I looked at the numbers, I was like, oh, holy hell, this is not what I was expecting. But much to the same of this new rediscovery. It was a welcome.

[00:21:13] Scott Maderer: But I think that's why I wanted to talk about it. Cause I think that's one of the biggest mistakes we make with that idea of calling it two-fold and one is we identify it with our career. It, my title is by calling and it's no, that's actually, it may or may not have anything to do with your career.

[00:21:33] And then part B is a lot of times we think. There, there is that danger of monetizing, the things that you love and creating a business around them can actually detract as opposed to add value. If you're not careful, I'm not saying never monetize. You know what your habits and joys are, but you have to be careful about that because it can literally suck all the joy [00:22:00] out of life to

[00:22:00] Sebastian Schug: You, you look at, you, look at that, you look at something that you love in such a myopic way.

[00:22:06] And back then, I can't. The guy, I don't really know what was going on through my head, because that is, that was my mindset. I always thought it was a go go business mentality. And it you've never taken the time to actually stop

[00:22:18] and think about it. I, and when I would, it would be as a justification of this is a business you have to make sacrifices during a business, Sebastian what do you, what are you doing?

[00:22:30] And when you're so inundated with social media quips about, oh, Hey, this is how you run a business in the 21st century it's

[00:22:39] Scott Maderer: grind Grind how do you make an omelet? You gotta break some eggs. And that was something that I wish I wouldn't have taken so seriously.

[00:22:48] Sebastian Schug: And I guess to be that person now stating this social media for me primarily Instagram, because that's where I would get a lot of that. No [00:23:00] longer exists. Because I knew that it would be a much healthier direction leading it and sticking to something with YouTube, something that I'm actually passionate about aside from either getting FOMO on Instagram, the fear of missing out, or being inundated with these social cues and clauses of what society thinks that I should care about.

[00:23:21] Predominantly the hustle, hustle, hustle, culture, which. I want no part of

[00:23:26] Scott Maderer: it will Renee we're main nameless, but there are some names that probably came to some people's minds for this. We talked about that. Cause there are definitely people that's what. Put out there and again, I'm not going to say that it's not right for somebody, but I'm with you. I don't want to, yeah.

[00:23:44] I just don't enjoy living my life

[00:23:45] Sebastian Schug: that way. So yeah. Yeah. It's not a very, at least for me, it's not a very fulfilling life. Earlier you mentioned that you were very pragmatic and practical and like to look at things in that kind of way. [00:24:00] Let me give you a chance to share with the listeners.

[00:24:03] Scott Maderer: If you have some tips or some resources, principles, ideas that people need to hear from this. And if they're going through some of this journey themselves and trying to figure out who they are and what they want to quote unquote, what do you want to be when you grow up? And by the way, that doesn't matter how old you are.

[00:24:20] You can always ask that question. What are some resources or some tips or ideas that you would say that they need to focus

[00:24:26] Sebastian Schug: on? Regarding, I would say beginning beginning your project, beginning your journey. I would say as bluntly as I can simply start, I've said this on a myriad of other podcasts before, but it's I don't want to say insane cause that sort of has a negative connotation to it, but it's very surprising to see the level of expectations that are external, that people place themselves under when initially beginning a project [00:25:00] thinking that, for example in my case that then, oh, I had, I believed that I had to have the state-of-the-art microphone, the state-of-the-art headset, audio software upgraded the.

[00:25:13] Software firmware. What have you, just so I can start when, in actuality that has nothing to do with the level of content that I would hypothetically had been producing back then. Actually I don't even have to make it into a hypothetical because I know the type of content I was producing back then.

[00:25:30] And it was bad. It was a very cringe-worthy and looking back on it. Yeah. Am I happy or proud of my early work? Absolutely not, but it's, it serves as a stepping stone and that's all it is. And over time you come to more. So appreciate the fact that you did it rather than, oh, I wish I could have held out for something better.

[00:25:56] What an actuality that something better is that journey. [00:26:00] And that's what you end up discovering along the way. I guess as a TLDR, let your early work be back. And understand the tips and tricks and the scheduling or the scenarios that put you into a position for growth don't ever stop growing. Don't ever stop wondering what you can do to change or vary your content.

[00:26:25] And if you have no content and if this is your the Genesis of doing so. Take your idea. Put it out there. If it sticks. Great. If it doesn't okay. Then ask yourself why you became an artist was it to create for yourself? Was it to create for other people? I used to humorously chastise, those who created under the guise of doing something better for something like society.

[00:26:54] Because initially I felt that. Doing, so would put those [00:27:00] expectations on your shoulders and thereby not produce the product that you yourself, as an artist wanting to create. I always told myself at the beginning that artists and creatives should never create anything unless they were genuinely inspired to do however, I know that opinion is controversial and puts it in a box of, Hey, you should do these things because you like doing it. But over time understood the benefits of doing that because why else would you create, unless you yourself found that spark of imagination, which every artist has to have?

[00:27:36] I would imagine, no, it shouldn't be like this soulless corporate void, but that's in a nutshell, that's my basic advice and in tandem, keep doing it, understand what your strengths and your weaknesses are. And.

[00:27:49] If you can go with reckless abandoned because it's good to make mistakes do so in a do so in a manner that doesn't [00:28:00] impede others or hurt others experiment is.

[00:28:04] Scott Maderer: Yeah. I, one of the things that I tell people when they're, especially when they're getting started, but the business idea is fail fast, fail early, but don't fail.

[00:28:16] Yes. I know it's great to make little mistakes and do them often, but you don't want to walk up to the poker table and be like James Bond and be like, I'm all in this is a, if I lose I'm done kind of thing. So it's it is an interesting balancing act to recognize that putting your experiment.

[00:28:35] Sebastian Schug: There was, I always look back to Thomas Edison's quote I'm not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that don't, that won't work. It's one of those instances where it's just 10,000, that's a big number. You're probably going to see much bigger numbers than that or not, but that all depends on whether or not you choose to start.

[00:28:58] So I hope you do.

[00:28:59] Scott Maderer: [00:29:00] You can follow Sebastian on YouTube as sea bass official, or find him over on his website@sebastianchug.com. He's also active on LinkedIn as Sebastian R Shugg and that spelled S C H U G, and I'll have links to all of that over in the show notes as well. Sebastian, is there anything else that you'd like to share with the LR?

[00:29:23] Sebastian Schug: Yes. Scott, my friend. I just wanted to take this time and say that thank you very much for having me.

[00:29:31] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much for listening to the inspired stewardship podcast, as a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoy this episode. Please do us a favor. Go over to inspired stewardship.com/itunes rate.

[00:29:59] All [00:30:00] one word iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in your. Until next time, invest your time, your talent and your treasures. Develop your influence and impact the world.


In today's episode, I ask Sebastian about:

  • His journey from comedy and YouTube to running a publishing company...
  • How his change in business made him feel about his calling...
  • How his faith journey intersected with these changes...
  • and more.....

Some of the Resources recommended in this episode: 

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As a TLDR let your early work be bad.  And understand the tips and tricks and scheduling and scenarios that put you into a position for growth. – Sebastian Schug

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About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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